The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


davidg618's picture

Saturday using Rye Sour excess from an earlier baking--3 or 4 days ago--I built more Rye sour, flollowing Greenstein's Secrets of a Jewish Baker; I did stage 3 feeding late Saturday evening, and refrigerated the refreshed sour intending an early Sunday morning bake.

Sunday; early AM: I let the sour come to room temperature (it had nearly doubled overnight, and risen more in the 1 hour warmup. I'd measured 25 oz. of Rye Sour into my hand-mixing bowl, and put the remaining cup of sour in the refrigerator, for another day. I'd previously weighed out the dough's First Clear flour, salt, and yeast.  I was about to pour the dough's water addition into the sour when the phone rang. Five minutes later I was out the door, heading for a local carriage driving show; it's organizer had called and asked my assistance. I couldn't say no. I spent five minutes covering the Rye Sour with plastic wrap, and putting it back in the refrigerator. The rest of the mise en place was left where it sat.

I came home late afternoon, sunburned of face, dusty, weary, and pleased with the day's work. However, I was in no mood to bake bread.

Monday (today) I picked up where I left off. Mixed the dough, and baked two loaves.

Minor differences: obviously the extra twenty-four hours retarding the sour; I restored the salt to the original recipe (I'd reduced it slightly when I made it the first time.), and I made the starch glaze with arrowroot starch instead of corn starch. I use arrowroot starch in lieu of corn startch in most cooking recipes. I find its silkier consistency more to my liking.

The first time I baked Jewish Rye, I had a couple of crust blowouts: unwanted blowouts. (see

Unwanted crust cracks and bursts; any ideas why? )

I got some good suggestions from other TFLer's, on how to prevent them. I incorporated all (or most) of their suggestions processsing this dough. I scored deeper, and (my idea; a variant of another's suggestion to make them longitudinal) I angled the slashes slightly from being square with the loaves' long axes; and I final proofed until I was certain any further would be over-proofed.

Here's the results, no Grand Canyon bursts!

I am, of course, delighted with the result. I'm certain the crumb will be consistent with the first bake. Thanks again to all those who helped me avoid unwanted crust bursts with this bake--and, hopefully future ones.

There is only one small doubt in my head: did the unplanned retardation influence the absence of unwanted cracking? D**m, I'll just have to bake this formula again, and eliminate the extra 24 hours. Tough, but somebody's got to do it.

David G


sortachef's picture


We make pizza nearly every week here at Chez Bullhog. When you have an outdoor pizza oven, it's hard not to: pizza has become an obsession. But, even without using the special oven, we've gotten pretty good at turning out a quality pizza. Here are some tips:


For half the flour in the dough, substitute Caputo flour. This flour (tipo 00), made by Antico Molino Caputo in Italy, is formulated to let pizza dough stretch out. Using it in a recipe will keep your shaped dough from springing back from the rim when you flatten it. Available in Seattle at Pacific Food Importers, or through several sites online.

Cut the yeast by 1/3, and let the dough rise longer. Many dough recipes have more yeast than necessary in order to decrease the proofing time. If you're not in a hurry, let your dough rise at 70º (or even cooler) for at least 4 hours. Pizza aficionados let their dough rise in the fridge overnight, and then let it sit at room temperature for a few hours before shaping and baking. See 'Pizza time Pizza with long-rise dough' for details.

Drizzle olive oil onto the blank pizza. Joe Fugere, owner of Tutta Bella in Seattle, told me that when his original restaurant was certified by the Neapolitans, he had to omit this step. I never put olive oil into the dough, but I find that a thin coating of good olive oil enhances the flavor and keeps the crust from getting soggy during baking.

Use vine-ripened tomatoes and make your own sauce. The best and sweetest tomatoes are vine ripened. When our tomatoes are ripe, we don't bother making sauce, we just slice them onto the pizzas. Otherwise, we make a sauce with ripe tomatoes, a bit of onion and garlic, and freeze or can it. Second best is a big can of San Marzano tomatoes turned into sauce. When making sauce from canned tomatoes, use a bit of sugar to brighten its flavor.

Seek out quality toppings. The best toppings make the best pizzas, and in many cases less is better. A little prosciutto, a few good olives, herbed mushrooms dotted here and there. Locally made sausage, some fresh arugula - well, you get the picture.

Try different cheeses. This can make such a difference to your pizza and, again, you don't need massive quantities. Some suggestions: well-drained buffalo mozzarella, truffle-infused pecorino, gruyere, cacciocavallo, or fresh mozzarella. You can top the whole thing with a handful of shredded mozzarella if you like.

Balance salty with savory or sweet. All of the components of pizza already have salt in them, so you can easily overdo it with salty toppings. On the other hand, a fresh Margherita pizza (fresh mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and basil) needs capers or a generous sprinkle of salt to balance it.

Learn to use a peel. There's a reason they use peels (wooden or metal paddles) in pizza places. A wooden peel gets a pizza into the oven safely; a metal one turns it halfway through baking and pulls it out when it's ready. While you can get the pizza out of the oven with a spatula or two, I'd recommend that anyone who wants to bake better pizza invest in a wooden peel. When the peel is topped with bread flour or semolina, your pizza will slide right off it and into the oven!

Make your oven hotter. My outdoor oven is at about 650º when we bake pizzas in it, and will turn out a pizza in 4 minutes. Admittedly, most ovens don't get that hot, but will go to 450º or more. At 450º, a 12-inch pizza bakes in 8 or 9 minutes.

Bake the pizza directly on a pizza stone or quarry tiles. I've saved the best for last. This simple addition to the center rack of your oven, even if you're baking your pizza in a pan, will instantly yield better pizza. Be sure to preheat your oven for a half hour before baking for best results. See 'Baking bread on Quarry Tiles' for more information on using quarry tiles.


One Final Note: Even as recently as last year, I would have included longer kneading on this list. Italians recommend 20 minutes of kneading the dough, which many Americans find excessive. As I play with some aspects of this, the list may evolve to include a 30 minute rest period - after mixing, but before kneading - which I am learning is nearly as critical for gluten development as the kneading itself. Stay tuned!


See original content for this and other bread and pizza recipes (woodfired and conventional methods) at


Copyright © 2010 by Don Hogeland

SylviaH's picture

Stuck indoors with a head cold and raining all day..What would you do?  Surfed on my PC and landed at Steve's Bread Cetera blog.   I thought the 100% White Whole Wheat looked delicious and then I saw his lovely husband and I love pastries and the neighbors get a sample too,  after seeing the wonderful posts on Shiao Pings blog with meat pies in puff pastry and TaxFarmer's  croissants, my sweet tooth took over...last night I made the poolish for both.


                             Just out of the oven and cooling.  Crumb shot tomorrow.  I hope it looks half as nice as Steve's.



                                      ADDED:  The bread is made with King Arthur's White Whole Wheat Flour using Steve's recipe posted on BreadCetera.

                                                   The Pastries are not made with white whole wheat flour.  I used the recipes posted on BreadCetera for Croissants for the pastries.


                          Perfect for sandwiches.  I can detect the nice honey and butter  just right in the mellow wheat.





                                      I used the Moreno Cherries from Trader Joe's..I think they are the next best thing to the canned Oregon brand sour cherries

                                       I thickened them in their own juice, almond extract with a little corn starch.


                                                                             Cherry-Cream Cheese Danish - 

                                     I added fresh egg yolk, fresh lemon juice, vanilla and bakers sugar in the cream cheese.



                                                                                              Cream Cheese Pockets






ZD's picture


This weekends fun.

Home Bolted High Extration Hard Red Spring Wheat Miche


1050g Flour
578g Water
525g Leaven 100% hydration
26g Salt

Mix ingredients. Stir until there are no more dry spots. Autolyse for 60 minutes.

Fold  wait 30 minutes fold again. Bulk proof until almost double. Shape and proof

until just right. Preheat oven and stone to 500°F. Turn down to 450°F and steam

for 15 minutes. Turn down to 350°F and bake for 45 minutes. Let cool and enjoy.


 edit typo

dmsnyder's picture

This weekend I made a miche with Gérard Rubaud's flour mix for the first time. It's nowhere near as beautiful as the ones with which Shiao-Ping introduced Rubaud's formula to TFL, but it is delicious. The miche does seem to have a more mellow flavor than the other breads I've made with this flour mix, but then I didn't slice and taste it for a good 15 hours after it was baked.

The flour mix and formula I used was ...

Gérard Rubaud Pain au Levain


Baker's %

Total Dough

Flour 1 – AP



Flour 2 – WW



Flour 3 – Spelt



Flour 4 – Rye




Total Dough: 

Baker's %











Conversion factor





Baker's %














Final Dough: 

Baker's %


















I also made a couple 1 lb boules of the San Francisco Sourdough from "Advanced Bread & Pastry" by Michel Suas. It was an extremely extensible dough, made this time with WFM AP Flour (non-organic. They were out of the organic). I retarded the loaves overnight but wanted to give them an early start, so I took them out of the fridge and turned on my oven when I first got to the kitchen this morning.


I trust you correctly inferred this was done before my first cup of coffee. Always risky. 


Well, I did have my baking stone in the oven when I turned it on but not my steaming setup. I discovered this when the loaves were ready to load, of course. I did give the oven a series of spritzes with a spray bottle, but my result was a nice illustration of why we bake with steam. So, for your interest ...


Note the dull crust and the modest bloom and spring.


I haven't cut it yet. I'm sure it's fine eating, but beautiful it ain't.





ritav's picture

I thought to pass on this wonderful recipe from King Arthur's Whole Grain Cookbook.  The maple flavoring in the bread is a nice top note and the walnuts are a bonus with nice texture.  Try'll like it.    You gotta love baking bread!

jennyloh's picture

2 bakes in a day.  This wholemeal roll is a mixed of bread flour and wholemeal.  Wanted to try something else for a change  small rolls using the water roux starter,  with 2 bites and they are gone.  I didn't expect it to turn out so tiny,  measured carefully at 40g per piece.  Anyway,  the most difficult I find is try to shape this.  I read the instructions and  after the 5th ball, I think I got it.  Shape the ball into a cone shape,  roll flat into triangle,  and roll it up from the bottom (wider part of the triangle).  Give it a few roll to tighten it a little. Let it proof for about 1 hour, until it is puffy.  I always wonder if I proof enough?  Well, it had a good oven spring,  and certainly the taste is pretty good,  soft and sweet and a little salty.  To read more:  here's the link.  

txfarmer's picture

Made these following the recipe in the Tartine baking book. The recipe is 7 pages long, took me 3 days, yacks, but the results are well worth the effort. You can find the recipe online here: . I was a big fan of the bakery when I lived in CA, that's why I must try the recipe despite the intimidating details. We loved the crispy shell, crumbly texture biting in, and hollow, many layered, lighter than air crumb.


As far as taste goes, we loved how buttery they are. Long fermentation did add layers to the flavor, if we hadn't had the sourdough Pandoro a few months ago, we would've been 100% satisfied. However, being spoiled by that 90 hour Pandoro, we now think it could be improved if there's a bit more "tang". I am now searching for a good sourdough croissant recipe to try next.

Also made the chocolate variation, very good.


These are American sized huge croissants, just like how they sell them in the store. I made the whole recipe, but only used half of the dough for this batch, good call since otherwise we won't be able to finish them and my oven wouldn't have been big enough. For the other half, I will make smaller, more European style ones, so the ratio of the crispy shell would be higher.

bakinbuff's picture

I've read a number of places on this fantastic site about the benefits of soaking whole grain flours before incorporating them into a dough, and I happened to give it a try yesterday while preparing today's loaf of bread, a Rosemary and Thyme Sourdough Boule.  While I was preparing the fresh herbs, I added the usual amount of (hot) water to the 1 cup of wholewheat flour I wanted to use in the dough.  That soaked while I stripped the thyme off the stalks and chopped the rosemary needles.  I threw the herbs on top of the soaking flour (and incidentally, I had also added the tablespoon of olive oil I generally add to my loaves to the water before adding the flour, don't know if that made any difference).  Anyway, being as this was the first time I had soaked the flour, and adding to that the fact that this was the first boule I've used exactly half and half of whole wheat and strong white flour, I was really, really pleased with the result!  The hydration was no different with this loaf than my other loaves, but I believe the soaking is what resulted in a gorgeously moist and light and fairly open crumb, despite the higher than usual proportion of whole wheat (and therefore lower than usual proportion of higher gluten white flour).  Anyway, I just wanted to encourage anyone who is considering increasing the amount of WW they use in their bread, but doesn't want to sacrifice lightness and moistness of the loaf (wholewheat doesn't have to be dense and dry!) to give soaking a try.  Another thing of interest to me was that usually when I use more wholewheat than usual, I find I have to add a little extra water to compensate, and sometimes I can't quite get the dough moist enough before kneading is done so the end result is on the dry side, which can be very frustrating.  However, with this loaf I used exactly the same amount of water as usual, and the resulting dough was the perfect combination of stickiness (stuck to my hands but not the counter), and even required a tiny bit of extra flour in the kneading process!  I have read that wholewheat soaks up water quickly, then releases some of it again after a period of time, so my conclusion is that it must soak up a lot of the water straight away when not soaked, and not get the time to release it again before kneading begins.  I'm no expert, and this certainly wasn't a controlled experiment, but from now on I will be soaking my wholewheat flour!

yozzause's picture

I made the dough for the evening restaurant class on thursday as there were quite a few absentees from the class the lecturer said you dont want to make the bread for me do you? The deal was that i had a free hand,and could make whatever I pleased! SO I had several bottles of coopers dark ale set aside that were up to their code date so at 2.30 pm I refreshed my sour dough starter and added what i would have discarded to 1.5litres of dark ale  and 1 kg of Bakers flour and made a nice slurry. I went back to my office and worked out the rest of the formula completed a couple more purchase orders shut down the computer and went back to the bakery.

I ended up with 1 young student who was also going to be making the fresh fruit salad component of the desert trio to be served.

I quickly got him to weigh up the other ingrediants  after finding we had 40 patrons for the restaurant. The other ingrediants were

(1kg flour                                                                    1,000 grams)

(Coopers dark ale 4 x 375ml stubbies                     1500 grams)

(sour dough culture                                                              100 grams)

3kg flour                                                            3,000 grams

salt                                                                        80 grams

Dry yeast                                                                80 grams

butter                                                                    120 grams

water                                                                   1300 grams

Dobrim bread impover                                               5 grams

My helper had not made bread before so  i gave him  a run down on what the different ingrediants do in the dough and explained how to work the percentages  so that this dough could be made larger or smaller and that 1% in this dough represented 40 grams.

We also worked out how to make a dough to the size required  for a certain number of rolls, the dinner rolls are scaled @ 50 grams each, we have a hand press that cuts out 14 pieces  so made him work out the size of the dough pieces required (700 grams) and suggested that we make  70 rolls as the patrons don,t usually say no to the additional roll when offered. i then told him we would make a 4 loaves @ 500grams and then some sticks at 250 grams, this was all before the dough was mixed.

A tip i passed on to him and one that is well worth remebering is that if you measure up more than the amount of water you want it is ready to go at the right temp as you need it and that it is easier to calculate want went in by what you have left.

Anyway back to the dough after it was mixed i put it into a 25litre plastic bucket, showed how to mark how far the dough came in the container  and where it might come when doubled. i then said i was going home  to feed my aviary birds, and that i would be back in an hour ( i live quite close by) so left him to get on with his fresh fruit salad.

When i got back the dough had exceeded our expectations as far as the marks on the bucket were concerned  it had actually pushed the lid off and had a distinct muffin top look. So the knocking back was demonstrated as well as taking in the aroma of the gas that was released.

Scaling was quickly completed and dough pieces rounded up and allowed to recover for 10 minutes, the rolls were quickly finished  and the bread pieces were shaped  these were all deposited in a steam prover.

The requirement of the restaurant is that they have to have a fast dough as students only have 4 hours to make and bake fresh product for both lunch and again for dinner. hence the fast 1 hour bulk fermentation time achived with the 2% addition of dry yeast.

The rolls were then pulled from the prover and paint brushed with a boiled cornflour wash and seeded and rice flour dusted and cut in a number of different ways to show the different effects achieved with the knife.

The rolls were then baked and after inspection of the results fom the cuts racked to cool before being handed to the front of house staff ready for service. The bread loaves and sticks were placed in the oven next while I was given a serve of the fish that was on the menu, magnificent red snapper.

Once the bread came out my work was done, i made sure that the staff behind the bar that provide the ale and the flat white coffes had a loaf to take home, the instructor for the front of house staff and of course the chef instructor as well as for the procurement team i work with all had a loaf.

Next morning the verdict came in  the young trainee chef had been out and faced the diners who loved it with many asking him  why it was so nice and the best bread rolls thay had tasted.

I must say that the loaf i took home remained really fresh and tasty for a couple of days. UNFOTUNATELY the camera is left at work for the weekend but i will add pictures to this blog on Monday

Regards Yozza  

Sorry about the cut shot i only had a smallish serrated knife, its amazing the difference a good knife makes in cutting bread


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